Friday, May 16, 2008

How mad are you?

Excuse the very lame title. I couldn't think of anything "cool". (That word seems to cling on to me nowadays...). I suppose I can be forgiven because it is my second post today! The quote below is something which I found "nice". (Sometimes it is simple words like nice which say a lot.)

Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen.

John Le Carre

My voice has all but gone. Isn't it a shame that the year had to end when this marvellous thing was to happen? (Hehe, I'm quite glad that it went at a time when I am not really at university 9-5pm,because although croaking is painful, nothing stops me from talking! Don't tell my PTs though--they will be over the moon, especially Dr. C!) It will be back in a few days though--it has to return! (It's not that I miss hearing myself talk... but my throat hurts.)

At this moment in time I find it hard to forget my English teacher. She used to take great pleasure when my voice went, for she used to lose hers a lot too, and English teachers do have a lot to say!

This post wasn't meant to be about my voice (but as you have gathered I have yet to sleep!) There is a lot of thinking going on in my head (not about my exams I'm afraid though), which I will be sharing with any readers soon. Why not now? Well one can of worms at a time, is what I always say! (Damn--that's another Shrek-ish quote.)

I will be doing the Student Associates Scheme (SAS) straight after my exams (DAMN), and you'll also be hearing more about that too. From now on I will always write SAS (looks more.... cooler?), but this summer is going to be make or break for me in terms of where I am headed mathematically. A PGCE (Post graduate certificate in Education) or MMaths (a masters) is what's on the table at the moment. I will open part of the can now, for I want to develop this thought process slowly (and painfully).

My holiday did one thing good for me. It made me realise that I enjoy mathematics. Prior to the Easter break I was in a state of confusion. I was disliking my modules and thought that I no longer liked maths. This wasn't very good. Indeed, during one Galois Group lecture I even felt like a fraud--you know, trying to generate this community feeling but not being sure of whether I should be within it myself. I felt that I was being hypocritical when I tried to persuade people to attend our lectures, or generally when I talked about maths amongst undergraduates. Consequently I used to zone out a lot more in lectures, didn't do any problem sheets, and just did the bare minimum to survive. There were times when I felt I had to pull my socks up and I did some studying, but it wasn't with the same energy that I know I have.

I was no longer studying mathematics, but just going through the motions of being a student. Nothing excited me any more and I felt that a fourth year was not for me, because already I had lost that ball of energy that carries me along. During this time I consulted my three PTs, and each reassured that me that a fourth year was within my means and I should consider it. (Well Prof. S has been saying this for ages, but now everyone was in the loop!) Once again, I had this fear that I was cheating the world, for inside I had had a falling out with mathematics that no one knew about.

Maybe this darkness came because I wasn't studying, but I can't really say, for even now I don't know what the heck is going round and round in my head. I want something to aim for if I am being honest. Aims and goals are very important in life, and whilst Noddy is aspiring to drive an Aston Martin one day, I am clueless. If you want the horrible, brutal truth I can't give it to you. There is this one thing which is not connected to mathematics in any form, but which I am desperate to have. Or is the correct word was? I'm confused about that now too! This is a "non-trivial" thing shall we say, and no one understands me when I say that I want to achieve this.

However, maybe I am being foolish but if I was to do a PGCE then it would be easier for me to get this thing. A PGCE would give me stability in life (in terms on money flow I suppose) which is neccessary for what I want. The stability has to be there. On the other hand, were I to do a masters then the thing I want(/ed?) the most will get pushed back into the queue. The more years I stay at university, the less stability I will have so my aspirations will have to pause.

That's the grown up way of looking at things. About money and stability. Me being the young fool I am seems to be overlooking many things--I don't like the grown up way, but it was brought to my attention and I have to be realistic. This confusion is sometimes annoying, but I am happy that I know that I enjoy mathematics. Although there isn't a topic which is "my cup of tea" and some of my modules have been erm... not very nice, I really enjoy that buzz I get. Well the buzz that returned!

When I was revising for my calculus exam I had them "wow" moments. It's not actually that bad a module, and I did enjoy it.

The questions are overflowing and I am unable to offer answers. For some people this would have been a trivial decision, but when have I ever claimed to have been normal? Most people can't understand why this is not a simple decision, but that is because they haven't heard the full story. It will all boil down to what I want the most. I have though, acknowledged the fact that if I was to do the masters, then now is the time to do it. Previously I was considering doing the PGCE and in the future coming back to university, but where's the fun in that? That might have never happened, and the people that make university a cool place for me now, might not be here too!

Now is my chance to do it, if I am ever to transfer.

So this is half a can of worms. Posts like this are a mostly a result of conversations that I have had during the day. Indeed, this is one is no different. All I am going to say is "touch wood that I don't lose this buzz for mathematics again"! I thought that I would write two posts today since I dare not blog during the weekend... I have to learn two modules in two days. Impossible. I don't know what I am going to do (apart from panic)! Did I ever mention that I like blogging? Not just blogging but writing. I guess it goes hand in hand with talking a lot...

PS: The mugs vote is tied... (you can still vote!)... so the IMA logo might have to go on them due to cost reasons. "They will not let me pay anything towards them" Pft. However, the IMA one isn't too bad, for having our logo and then the text with TGG mentioned is a bit silly. Well I did say I will think about this after my exams now, well next Friday, but you can still opine on this matter...

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